So when we arrive in a plane- my brother and sister would clap REALLY loudly whenever we landed- I remember one time coming back from Chaing Rai and the landing was perfect- and we clapped so hard. We were clapping partly because one, we landed safely, and two, because I am terrified of airplane bathrooms (haha) but three, because I was finally home. And there’s nothing sweeter than sharing that with your friends and family.
I went home this weekend because The Amber Initiative got a grant from Singapore’s Ministry of Community Devt, Youth and Sports (MCYS) (I’m so psyched) and when I started to clap.. people just kinda stared at me and embarrassed, I stopped immediately. How I wish I was able to be with my siblings to clap alongside them and rejoice in coming home together. And on this flight, it just got me thinking- clapping after we landed was a just a little quirk but it reminded me of how much I missed home. I was barely gone for 2 weeks in Bangkok and 6ish months in the US, how much more refugees or migrants, who can never come home? Or come home once in 6 years? How much more so them- who long to go home but either have no means, or are too scared?
Last last week in Samut Sakhon, we went to visit some of the Burmese workers in Samut Sakhon- and photos of the school are above. Stepping into a new country is scary- and not even speaking the language is the first massive hurdle many never completely cross. There was one family we visited that had a 1 month old girl and she had a fever for a week. They didn’t want to head to the doctor’s and tried to get medicine from the store themselves. But they had bought the wrong meds- meds for children aged 2-6 because it was in Thai. Home is so far away from them, there’s no landing and clapping.
Every week has been still such a great and painful learning experience- forcing me to come to terms with the realities of trafficking and exploitation happening all around the region. The desperation is real, especially with our global financial crisis now that is pushing more people into joblessness; especially with the political instability that leave many without options for other sources of income. Don’t forget how fortunate you are to have a home and have a voice- use those well.